For the last many years, Camp Indigo has been intentional about laying low online and in the media. All of our advertising has been word of mouth, and that’s worked! Now, as we aim to make new friends in new cities, Camp made the decision to start running ads on Facebook in hopes of reaching a broader audience.
I won’t lie to you - we’ve gotten some pretty mean comments. Le sigh. As a reminder, Camp Indigo is a trans-led organization. I am trans. You are parents and allies of trans youth. Perhaps you are trans yourself. We know this too well - there is no way to fully protect ourselves from the hate out there.
That said, people often ask us how we deal with hurtful and/or transphobic messages and the hurdles that come from legislation and rhetoric that directly and negatively impacts our trans community. It’s not perfect, but here’s what we do:
Surround yourself with people who you don’t have to train. This is why spaces like Camp Indigo are so important. We have to have to HAVE. TO. be around people who GET IT. Also, join some Facebook parenting groups. Some of them are… intense, but others are really sweet. I like “Support Network for Parents of Trans Kids.”
Scroll on by and block/hide those comments. I do this all the time. I’m not naïve - I know that there are people in this world who (wrongly) think that WE are the bad guys. I just don’t need to see it.
Only “fight” if you’re clear on your intended outcome(s). Spoiler alert - I’ve never (NEVER) “won” a fight online. Like literally never. I have, however, offered new perspectives, resources, kind words of encouragement, and expressions of hurt - all to moderate success. Ask yourself - “Am I trying to prove someone wrong? Put them in their place? Fight for my community? Express my anger?” Listen, if you want to light the internet on fire, go for it! I love that journey for you. I just don’t have the emotional capacity for it 98% of the time.
Go easy on yourself. Step away. Breathe. Remember that you aren’t alone and that all of the heaviness that exists within the trans experience is NOTHING compared to the love and joy that lives here too.
We got this!